He also painted in Milan for the friars of S. Domenic, at Saint Maria delle Grazie, a Last Supper, a thing most beautiful and marvelous. He gave to the heads of the apostles great majesty and beauty, but left that of Christ imperfect, not thinking it possible to give that celestial divinity which is required for the representation of Christ. […]” Giorgio Vasari
The Last Supper painted between 1494 and early 1498, is considered perhaps the most important wall painting in the world, “cosa bellissima e maravigliosa”, as Giorgio Vasari wrote. Leonardo da Vinci embodies the ideal multifaceted man dreamt of by the Italian Renaissance: painter, architect, sculptor, engineer, inventor, mathematician, anatomist and writer. During the period in which he was working on the painting, Leonardo was in fact engaged in studies – today we would say lighting design, light theory, sound, movement – but also on human emotions and their expression. These interests are clearly reflected in The Last Supper, where, more than in any other of Leonardo’s works, Leonardo’s attention to the depiction – through postures, gestures and expressions – of what he himself called the ‘motions of the soul’ is evident. The commission for the Last Supper is a museum lighting design, a considerable lighting designer challenge. In 1995, after 21 years and more than seven thousand days of work, Leonardo da Vinci’s painting was restored to its former glory with all its colours and intensity. The entire route leading to the refectory was revised with some regulatory and service adaptations: so to safeguard the microclimate inside the refectory, it was decided that only small groups of visitors could be admitted at any one time. Specially designed wall-mounted and floor-standing “Cestello” luminaires, (by Lighting Designer Piero Castiglioni in collaboration with Architect Gae Aulenti) positioned along the longest sides of the room, contain all the necessary technical devices: halogen lamps with built-in reflectors provide general lighting for the spaces and frescoes, loudspeakers provide information, security cameras and heat sensors. Thus, a single element closely linked to the “monastic” spirit of the hall and with the lowest possible visual impact, provides all the necessary services to the visitor, in full compliance with the regulations governing the proper conservation of the works on display.
Gae Aulenti Associated
Orsay Museum where architecture became a big lighting device, the reflections of light bulbs with walls and ceilings create a uniform light without shadows. Groups of projectors in Grassi Palace recall a small football field. Here was born a new type of lighting device. Reflector lamps and articulated support gives life at the "Cestello". Spasa na Krovi is a perfection of Mantova project. Light beams aggregation allow the device size reduction and the dispersion light control.